Mike Desmond of Rochester, NY asks:

How often do you shut down the engine to check the oil level? How often is the oil and filter changed?

Jim Leishman responds:

We have changed the engine oil and filter at intervals of about 250 hours however we have gone longer on the longest passages. For instance on the Hawaii leg, which lasted 16 days, we went about 380 hours between changes. I don't feel it's harmful to run this duration - especially as the engine is not be started and stopped and generally gets pretty easy duty on the longer runs where we are running slowly by the necessity of our range requirement. I have run this engine 8 days without checking the oil as I'm so confident in its oil consumption. I do go into the engine room and thoroughly inspect the engine pan and areas around the engine for evidence of oil leaks and will do a running dip stick check which really only verifies that there is oil in the crank case. This engine holds about 20 quarts of oil and it could easily run on 10 quarts or less without loosing oil pressure. Being two or three quarts low with this large capacity is not like running your auto engine with two or three quarts low - when the entire engine only holds five quarts.

On any new boat where I did not have many hours of personal experience I would be compelled to shut the engine down each day and do a dip stick check.


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